Another great season of Mad Men has come to an end there's a great recap of the last three episodes ("The Jet Set" / "The Mountain King" / "Meditations in an Emergency") at The House Next Door:
During the first season of Mad Men and throughout the second, much critical discussion centered on the the show's depiction of advertising, domestic life and gender relations in the late '50s and early '60s, the immense cultural changes America was about to undergo, and what opinion series creator Matthew Weiner might have on it all. After watching the last three episodes, I believe those aspects are mere means to an end. Like the mob storylines on The Sopranos—a series on which Weiner served as a writer and producer—they exist to inform and amplify Mad Men's real interest: the continual struggle between what Sigmund Freud called the id and the superego, between the deep, authentic self inside us—the sum total of our desires, appetites, urges and fantasies—and what we might call the constructed self, a superstructure of social conditioning that cages the beast within and lashes it with guilt and shame when it gets too rowdy. The third major component of the personality, the ego, referees between the id, the superego and the external world; in a sense, the ego is the locus of drama, because it's the place where decisions happen. The struggle is apparent in any story worth watching, but it's foregrounded in Mad Men, a series in which—like The Sopranos—dramatic decisions often come down to a blunt cost-benefit analysis. A character in moral quandary tries to choose between what he or she wants, and what his or her conditioning—and the expectations of family, friends or society at large—will allow.
On how he feels about the season:
I'm thrilled with it. It was very hard and very scary, and I have a great writing staff, and I had an idea for what I wanted to do, and I feel like I pulled it off. I'm very, very proud of what we did. The strangest thing is, the last script was really written about eight weeks ago, and emotionally, it's exactly where we are right now ,and it's exactly what I wanted to write about for this season. And it seems to be quite related to the emotional mood of the country.